Celtic Woman Warms up Winter with 'A Christmas Celebration'. Featuring singers ChloI Agnew, Orla Fallon, Lisa Kelly and Meav NI Mhaolchatha, and fiddler MairEad Nesbitt, the album is a joyous celebration of the Christmas season, performed by this Irish supergroup that has captured the imagination of fans across America.
One of the more impressive things about A Christmas Celebration
is its glowing immediacy. The record's rich vocals and colorful instrumentals create a concert-like setting, reprising the season's most loved hymns, carols, and pop standards, along with a Gaelic version of "That Night in Bethlehem." Unexpected numbers such as "Christmas Pipes" and "Carol of the Bells" (here led by the spirited fiddling of Mariread Nesbitt) only enhance an already engaging disc that finely weaves between the piety of classical music and the playfulness of pop. Chloe Agnew, Orla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, and Meav Ni Mhaolchatha combine their Celtic voices against orchestral arrangements and sparser settings--spiked with the traditional Irish fare of uilleann pipes, harp, and ancient choral harmony--to deliver an assortment of reverent but lively arrangements that wouldn't be out of place at a church, concert hall, or good Irish celli. --Martin Keller